YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown State men’s basketball team shaved 14 points off a 16-point deficit and had a shot at the buzzer to win but fell 61-59 on Saturday afternoon at Beeghly Center.
Northern Kentucky closed out the first half on a 21-6 run, and it scored the first two points of the second half to build a 36-20 lead. Youngstown State got the lead within single digits for the final 11 minutes, and it trailed by six on six different occasions before Donel Cathcart III’s basket with 1:29 left made the score 59-55.
After Jalen Tate answered for NKU, Garrett Covington scored four straight points to get the margin down to two with 37.3 seconds remaining. Tate was whistled for an offensive foul with 10.4 seconds left to give the Penguins the last shot, and Darius Quisenberry’s long 3-point attempt from the right wing hit the side of the rim.
Northern Kentucky improved to 21-8 overall and 13-4 in Horizon League play and clinched a top-two seed in the conference tournament. Youngstown State dropped to 16-13 overall and 9-7 versus the league.
Cathcart finished with a team-high 14 points in his final regular-season home game, and Naz Bohannon added 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Dantez Walton paced the Norse with 20 points, and Tate finished with 18.
Youngstown State will play two big road games in Wisconsin next week as it fights for positioning in the Horizon League Tournament. The Penguins will begin the road swing at Green Bay on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.